Why Is My Radiator Cold at the Bottom?

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radiator, cold heating

Why Is My Radiator Cold at the Bottom?

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Image credit: Powerflushsafe.co.uk


Dear Adam,

I saw your article last week where you helped someone with their radiator. I was hoping you could help me. My radiator is also cold but it is at the bottom, the top of the radiator is warm as usual. Do you know what this problem might be and how to fix it?

Thanks for your email.

Being able to identify where the heat is coming (or not coming) from in your radiator is always a good way to assess the problem. One thing to consider is that the top of your radiator will always be slightly warmer than the bottom, but this is marginal. As we discussed last week a cold top of the radiator indicates that it needs bleeding, a cold bottom of the radiator indicates that there is most likely sludge or magnetite in there. Ask the Engineer, engineer, boiler man


Sludge or magnetite is thick black sediment that is caused when the iron in radiators and pipes corrodes. With an older system this is more common due to natural wear and tear and is typically not the fault of the homeowner. When bleeding your radiator as discussed last week, you may see some early signs of sludge when the water coming out is discolored or sludgy. Sludgy water takes more time to heat up and moves slower than normal water, so the thermostat is working harder and taking longer to reach the required temperature meaning you will pay more on your heating bills!

Unlike bleeding a radiator, this problem will require professional flushing which is best done by a Qualified Gas/Heating engineer. Removing the sludge is a much more technical process than simply bleeding and is a problem we see quite regularly. We recommend the Magnacleanse machine system and, when fitted in conjunction with a magnaclean filter, offers a comprehensive way to clean and protect the system.  We use specialized chemicals to help with this process and then leave inhibitor chemicals in the system to help prevent the problem re-occurring.  This process can take as little as 2 hours but usually takes half a day to a day to complete depending on the size of the system.

Watch the video below to see for yourself how the Magnacleanse and Magnaclean filter can benefit your heating system.

If your radiators are not heating up correctly and you think sludge or magnetite might be the problem, give us a call to ask for a competitive quotation and to book a visit date for a magnaclean filter installing and a magnacleanse completing on your system.   You can send us an email through our website www.eclipseenergy.co.uk or give us a call on 01422 352485!


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